Boulder nudists questioned over threat to the president

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Greg Campbell Contributor
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A pair of Colorado nudists who have made national headlines in the past for being outspoken in their right to bare it all while gardening outside their Boulder, Colo., home were questioned by the Secret Service last weekend for allegedly threatening President Barack Obama.

Robert and Catherine Piece, known in Boulder for stridently defending their right to walk around in public nearly naked, were detained for questioning in Ohio after a waitress overheard Robert Pierce say he was going to “kill Obama and take him down,” according to the Daily Camera.

Police found a disassembled .22-caliber rifle in the trunk of the pair’s rental car, along with .22- and .38-caliber ammunition.

Neither were arrested or charged, according to Cleveland’s Fox8 TV station.

The Pierces aren’t strangers to the national spotlight. Robert, 62, gardens in his unfenced yard wearing nothing but a thong, and Catherine, 55, can be found regularly attending her flower bed wearing nothing but bikini bottoms.

The couple lives within a short distance of K-12 school and has been the subject of numerous complaints by parents whose kids walk past their home to and from school.

Rather than cover up, the Pierces turned their lifestyle into a crusade. Since the 1980s, Boulder has had an ordinance that allows women to bare their breasts in public, but enough people complained about the Pierces that, in 2010, the city council considered changing the law.

Under pressure, including some from the American Civil Liberties Union, the resulting nudity ordinance only banned bare genitalia, not breasts.

The Pierces’ efforts were mocked in some quarters; Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly once called Catherine Pierce a “pinhead” in his “Patriots and Pinheads” segment.

They were last in the news about a year ago, when the couple filed a lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages, claiming harassment by neighbors and police.

Even filing the suit caused a stir — Catherine was initially prevented from entering the Boulder County Courthouse for wearing a see-through mesh sundress that sheriff’s deputies decided didn’t adequately cover her otherwise naked breasts.

Their current dust-up happened after staff at a Marblehead, Ohio, café overheard Robert Pierce threaten the president. According to a police report quoted by the Camera, Robert Pierce said the two were headed to Washington, D.C. to make some things straight.

Staff at the café described the pair to police as appearing “very unstable.”

Robert Pierce kept telling the police that he was the illegitimate son of former President Dwight Eisenhower. On a Facebook page that’s been inactive since August, Catherine Piece lists herself as a “news personality” and claims to be the illegitimate child of late actor Robert Mitchum.

After questioning by the Secret Service, they were allowed to leave. Marblehead police told Fox8 that no charges would be filed.

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Greg Campbell